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Sunday
Aug102008

Tough Cookies: Not the NY Times Chocolate Chip Cookies

How Not to Make Chocolate Chip Cookies
There's been a lot of talk lately about the perfect chocolate chip cookie. Although ingredients and size are important, it seems that one vital step--the one that intrigues us most--in attaining cookie nirvana is letting the dough rest for 36 hours.

But imagine the dismay you'd feel, after those many hours, to see that your oven isn't working? This is what happened to Cake Gumshoe Phil recently--and he cleverly decided to try "baking" them in a frying pan. This got us thinking about the humble chocolate chip cookie. If the method written about in the New York Times is the absolute best one--then what is the worst? We set out with a log of dough to find out.
Here's what we did:
First, we made a batch of cookie dough (Toll House recipe!). After not letting it sit for 24, 36 or really any hours, we did the following:
1. We fried it
2. We toasted it
3. We microwaved it
4. We boiled it
* Cakespy Note: We would have grilled it too, but alas--we have no grill.
Here's how they came out:

Time to Fry some CookiesPan fried Cookies
Pan-fried cookies: As mentioned above, this idea came from Cake Gumshoe Phil. We heated up our frying pan to a medium temperature, and put a thin coating of vegetable oil in the pan to fry our cookies. We heated each side for about three minutes. Though slightly unweildy, they did remain solid enough to flip with a little finessing. Once cooled, these cookies were delicious in a guilty sort of way--slightly crispy on the outside, but soft and gooey on the inside. Some might say health risk; we say salmonellicious.

Toaster Oven CookiesToaster Oven Cookies
Toasted Cookies: We put a couple of cookies in our toaster oven. First we tried the convection setting, which pretty much made normal cookies. Boring! We reset to "toast" to see what would happen. The result was decent--crispy on the sides, soft but not underdone in the middle--but they burnt on the top--due to the proximity to the toasting mechanism. Not excellent, but they'd do in a pinch.

MicrowaveMicrowave Cookies
Microwave Cookies: We took this as a chance to also try out the pre-existing microwave settings on our oven. We chose the "potato" setting, which was perhaps a bad choice--it was a six minute cycle but after two minutes we began to hear a strange popping sound and stopped the microwave. The cookie dough had baked...sort of. It was crispy and pockmarked, and unfortunately had fused itself to the plate. We managed to cut off the top part of the cookie, which was crackery, crispy, and as Ralphie from the Simpsons might say "tastes like burning". Most definitely not delicious.

Making MischiefDumplings
Boiled Cookies: The secret to perfect bagels is boiling them before baking, so what about cookies? We tried two batches in our boiling part of the experiment. The first batch was just boiled--we dropped them in boiling water until they rose to the surface (which they did! It took about a minute), for a sort of chocolate chip cookie dumpling. Unfortunately, Mr. Cakespy declared that they tasted "like boogers"--as you can see his is not only a looker but quite the wordsmith.

Cookie BagelsCookie BagelsWeird CookiesCookies
For the second batch, we first boiled and then baked our cookie "dumplings". As a note, as an homage to the bagel-making method, we shaped them like little cookie bagels first, but the shape didn't hold--they just became little dumpling-y rounds again. But we powered through this pitfall and put them in the oven. Once baked, they no longer tasted of booger, but the chewy skin and soft inside which makes a bagel so wonderful did not equal chocolate chip cookie bliss. That having been said though, they weren't terrible--just not awesome.
As for our final thoughts? Well, we wouldn't say we offered any serious challenges to that now-famous NY Times recipe in the taste department. However, we do have a little trouble waiting 36 hours for our cookie dough to set once we've set our mind to baking them--aren't chocolate chip cookies all about fun, simplicity and fairly quick gratification? And so perhaps we didn't suffer a total loss--super delicious or not, we had a lot more fun messing up these cookies than waiting for the dough to set on a perfect batch.

 

 

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Reader Comments (74)

... aren't chocolate chip cookies all about fun, simplicity and fairly quick gratification?

YES!!

Interesting post :) ... I think I'll stick to making the dough and then baking it right away. I'm not sure the batch of dough would make it 36 hours in my home anyway!

August 10 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

Who else but the Cakespy crew would think of doing these unspeakable things to chocolate chip cookies, all in the name of research? I laughed all the way through this post!

Choclate chip dough put to some very interesting tests....am glad I saw the varied results!!!

August 10 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

I once tried to microwave cookie dough at work. The cookies came out terrible, but it made the break room smell really good all day.

August 10 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

I love how Cakespy always tries to apply the scientific method to baking.

What about deep frying?

I love this post. I'm doing that quiet nose-laugh thing in order to try and avoid waking up my boyfriend. I'm sure it's unattractive.

August 10 | Unregistered Commentersweetcharity

GREAT POST! The pan fried and the toasted ones look pretty good... but the boiled ones and microwaved ones... eeew. But thanks for sacrifying your chocolate chip cookie dough for your readers! That's why we love Cakespy!

August 10 | Unregistered CommenterIsa

the problem with the ny times recipes is the same that you talked about... who can wait for 36hours for cookie dough? that's an eternity in cookie time!

August 10 | Unregistered CommenterKrysta

Another fascinating experiment, Cakespy! You are very brave. I would not want to risk my cookie dough in such ways!

August 10 | Unregistered CommenterWandering Coyote

Too funny. Cookies are about instant gratification for me, so I would never wait 36 hours!! I wonder what they would taste like steamed?

August 10 | Unregistered CommenterVegan_Noodle

Hilarious. The New York Times recipe has been a bit of an annoying buzz at work, so seeing such a delightfully lighthearted approach to the chocolate chip cookie is a relief.

August 10 | Unregistered CommenterPinky

Its a pity using all that goody staff for trsting. but anyway don t great recipes begin with experiments. :-)

August 10 | Unregistered CommenterSnooky doodle

Hilarious!! I may just have to post about this post on my blog. I haven't tried the NYTimes recipe yet, but I've heard about it a lot lately. I liked the bagel cooking attempt, who knew the shaping-boiling-baking method needed that last step to erase the taste of boogers?!

August 10 | Unregistered CommenterAmylouwho

Very interesting experiment. I prefer this to the New York Times, anyday.

August 10 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

Hey Cakespy, You could be the new, http://www.women-inventors.com/Ruth-Wakefield.asp" REL="nofollow">Ruth Wakefield (the inventor of chocolate chip cookies)

August 10 | Unregistered Commenter~~Louise~~

soo funny! Love the mischievous experiments!

August 10 | Unregistered Commenterveron

Always pushing that culinary envelope! Are you sure Bill Nye The Science Guy is not part of the Cakespy Team?

O the poor cookies...how torturous you are Jessie! My stomach churned at the very thought of boiling & frying the poor dears! Experimentational extremes...not for the faint hearted!! LOL...your post is really hilatious!

Gads! Microwaved cookies, the horror! I love when you have posts like this. Such fun! Keep up the awesome work!

We had a heat index of 105 most of last week. I bet I could've baked one on my sidewalk.

August 10 | Unregistered Commentersurcie

I've grilled cookies on an outdoor charcoal grill. I wrapped the dough in tinfoil and then placed them on the grill. They came out...squishy is the best word, I guess, and smoky. Definitely smoky.

August 10 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

is it wrong of me to say that I'd probably eat all of these?

The Ralphie quote had me crying in laughter. "tastes like burning" ... ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!

Hilarious!

August 11 | Unregistered CommenterNisha Dheer

i love your experiments! never in a million years would i have thought to pan fry a chocolate chip cookie, but why not? it actually sounds pretty good, food poisoning risks aside. :)

August 11 | Unregistered CommenterGrace
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